Room and board to be refunded for remaining weeks of Spring 2020 semester

Refunds will be sent as a check to students' home addresses. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay user 5317367).Refunds will be sent as a check to students' home addresses. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay user 5317367).

Yesterday afternoon, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met to discuss continuing courses of action as the College confronts the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an email update that same day, President Roger Casey stated that the full organization of McDaniel College is working “to pursue all efforts to ease the burden on our students and their families.”

As the remaining duration of the Spring 2020 semester will be carried out online, many students and families have been questioning in the past few days as to whether McDaniel had any plans to reimburse students for room and board fees, as several other colleges have already made announcements of the sort. However, they need to wonder no longer, as Casey announced that they are introducing reimbursement plans for both meal plans and housing for the now-lost eight weeks.

Students with a meal plan for the Spring 2020 semester will be receiving a refund check for 100 percent of the prorated amount of their meal plan. The College intends for checks to be issued to eligible students no later than April 3, in order to provide a more “immediate infusion of cash.” These checks will be mailed to students’ home addresses, which can be checked in the Self-Service menu and updated by emailing the Registrar’s Office, if necessary.

“We are proud of the commitment to our students that this decision reflects,” Casey wrote. “The choice to issue direct refund payments for meal plans to students and families is because we believe an immediate infusion of cash is one of the best ways to help you right now. We hope you feel the same.”

There are also plans underway to refund students for the prorated cost of their rooms for the eight weeks, which will work slightly differently for last-semester seniors and those students who will be returning in the fall. For returning students, a Housing Relief Grant will be applied to their account for the 2020-2021 academic year, with the amount equal to 100 percent of the prorated rate for the eight weeks spent off campus. For graduating seniors, the prorated rate will instead be returned as a Housing Refund check this summer.

Casey also added in his email update that he is currently “doing everything that [he] can at the national and state levels to generate the greatest support possible for McDaniel students, and all students,” through his positions as Chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE).

“I have been closely monitoring the federal and state response to this unprecedented moment in our nation’s history,” Casey wrote. “I remain hopeful that there may be additional relief coming from our federal and state governments.”

Additionally, the College website’s pages of COVID-19 information have been updated with details of financial matters, including details about refund eligibility and some frequently asked questions.

The Bursar and Financial Aid offices remain the primary sources for questions about the proceedings in general as well as specific student cases, and these offices will reopen for the week on Monday, March 23 at 8:30 a.m.